“NO!” Dean screamed at the screen he was watching the Games from. “Get away from him you Bitch!”
Dean’s heart was pounding so heavily in his chest he was afraid it would pop out onto the floor. Sam was dying, he was really dying, Dean wasn’t going to see his little brother again. The girl that was advancing towards Sam was Ruby from District 5 and her eyes were glued to the knife that had fallen from Sam’s hands.
Dean saw Sam’s eyes flutter shut as Ruby knelt beside him and extended her hand towards Sam’s wound. Dean braced himself for the cannon shot, but it didn’t come. Instead, Dean watched as Ruby pressed her hands against Sam’s wound and then used the knife to cut off a piece of Sam’s shirt. She covered the bleeding hole in Sam’s abdomen and then she used her free hand to reach into Sam’s bag and pull out his water bottle.
Dean watched as she dribbled a little bit of water on the wound before using some more to splash Sam in the face. Sam coughed and spluttered, spitting water and blood out of his mouth. “Don’t move,” Ruby said. “You’ll make it worse.”
Sam stared at Ruby in shock. “You didn’t kill me.”
Sam tried to sit up but Ruby pushed him gently back down.
“I said, don’t move. I have to find something to close up your wound.”
“Why are you helping me?” Sam gasped.
Ruby shrugged as she rummaged through Sam’s bag. “I guess I’ve just got a soft spot for guys that get themselves stabbed and then save my life.”
Sam tried to laugh but it came out as a gurgle of blood and saliva.
It was at that moment that Dean realized he had the power to help Sam. There was no way the Gamemakers would refuse sending Sam a parachute when he was in this state. Dean fumbled for the communication device by his bed and pressed the button that called to the penthouse back in The Capitol.
Bobby picked up. “Hello?”
“Bobby, it’s me,” Dean said through a gasp. “I need you to send Sam a parachute, with everything he needs, medicine, stitches, water, everything . Do it quickly!”
“Sam doesn’t have enough sponsors for all of that, Dean,” Bobby said. “You can send him the water he never got but that’s about it.”
“I don’t need sponsors, Bobby. I’m sending it to him, my money , okay? Do whatever you gotta do, but Sam needs that supplies now or he’s going to die.” Dean was panicking now, if Bobby didn’t pull through for Dean, he was going to have to watch his brother bleed out. Bobby didn’t say anything back and Dean looked back up at the screen that was currently displaying his dying brother. “Please,” Dean begged. “He’s all I’ve got left, Bobby, I can’t watch him die.”
“I understand, I’ll do my best,” Bobby replied.
Dean went to hang up but Bobby’s voice made him stop.
“And, Dean, he’s not all you’ve got, you have me.”
The line went dead and Dean focused back on the Games. Ruby was doing her best, pressing down on Sam’s wound, talking to him soothingly, but Dean could tell Sam was slowly slipping away. To make matters worse, Jess’ voice came shrieking into existence when Sam’s name wrenched itself out of her mouth in a horrified scream.
Ruby looked up from Sam when Jess came rushing to his side, shoving Ruby aside. “Don’t touch him!” she screamed, her small knife drawn.
Ruby held up her hands in surrender. “I’m trying to help him!”
“Like hell you are,” Jess spat as her eyes landed on the knife by Sam’s side.
“I didn’t stab him,” Ruby said. “He did.” Ruby gestured towards Walt’s body. “Sam killed him and saved my life, I’m only trying to repay the favor.”
Jess didn’t appear to be listening, she had taken over Ruby’s job of trying to hold Sam’s insides together. “J...Jess…?” Sam tried to speak.
“Shhh,” Jess said soothingly as she placed a kiss on his cheek. “You’re going to be alright.”
“How did you…” Sam was again shushed by Jessica as she shook her head.
“I heard the cannon and I thought…” she sniffed and then continued. “But finding you like this, it’s…”
“Almost worse than finding him dead,” Ruby finished for her.
Jess nodded stiffly. “Yeah.”
Dean was beginning to really start to worry, when his room was bathed in the sound of a soft chime as a parachute floated down to land by Sam’s head. Ruby and Jess exchanged quick glances before Jess lunged for the parachute and tore it open.
Inside was a needle and thread, bandages, four water bottles, ointment, and a piece of paper. Dean already knew what the paper said, he was sure that Bobby had just added onto the previous parachute he’d had set up for Sam.
“It’s from Dean,” Jess said. “This should help, don’t go dying on me little brother- D,” Jess read. Sam smiled at the words and Dean felt his own smile crack on his lips. Sam was a fighter, he was going to get through this.
“Quite reading and start fixing him,” Ruby snapped.
Jess cracked open a water bottle and poured it over Sam’s wound. Sam grimanced in pain as she cleaned it off with a strip of gauze before she turned her attention to the needle and thread. Jess tried to thread the needle but her hands were shaking too badly.
“Here, let me,” Ruby said. She took the needle from Jess and threaded it quickly. “Do you want to do it, or should I?”
“I… I can,” Jess stammered.
Ruby looked at her skeptically. “You sure?”
“Yes, we don’t have time to argue about this,” Jess snapped. She turned her gaze to Sam and he blinked at her through teary eyes. “This is going to hurt,” she warned.
“Just get on with it,” Sam gasped.
“I’ll hold him down,” Ruby said.
With Ruby gripping Sam’s legs, Jess placed one hand on Sam’s chest and then moved her needle-clad hand to the knife wound.
Dean had to force himself to keep watching as Jess worked the needle through Sam’s skin. Sam was doing his best to keep still but he couldn’t fully fight all of his reflexes. He almost kicked Ruby three times before Jess finished and Sam was left breathless and groaning on the ground.
With the suspense over, the Gamemakers moved on to other more interesting things like the careers splitting up to go hunting.
Dean finally let himself breath again and unclenched his fists from the blankets on his bed, which he hadn’t even known he’d been gripping. Sam wasn’t fully out of the woods yet, but he was closer to than he’d been five minutes ago, so that was something. Dean quickly reached for the communication device again and called the penthouse.
“Dean,” Bobby answered.
“Thank you,” Dean said through a tremor in his voice.
“You’re welcome. I’m pretty fond of Sam and I wasn’t quite ready to lose him yet,” Bobby replied.
“Thank you,” Dean said again.
He hung up and scrubbed a hand down his face. He forced himself to push thoughts of Sam to the back of his mind and tried to focus on his plan for ending the Games.
When the train finally pulled up into District 12 it was about 7 o’clock. Dean jumped down from the train car and then headed off to Victors Village, he had decided that the best place to start in his recruitment for his rebellion, was with his friends.
Dean passed a few people on his walk and they all turned to look at him in surprise, Dean ignored them and pushed on towards Victors Village. Dean headed up his steps and entered the warmth of his house.
“Dean!?” Cas shouted as he looked up in surprise from where he was sitting watching the Games in Dean’s living room.
“Hiya Cas,” Dean replied through a grin.
Cas stood up and pulled Dean into a hug. “What are you doing back so early?”
“I need your help, Cas. I need the whole Districts help.”
Cas cocked his head to one side in confusion. “With what?”
“I’m planning a rebellion. I want to stop the Games,” Dean replied.
“Dean, that’s… very ambitious of you,” Cas said. “How am I supposed to help?”
“Tomorrow, you and me are going to split up and we’re going to recruit as many people as we can and we’re going to fight to stop these ridiculous Games,” Dean replied.
“Dean, I’m all for ending the Games, but the Capitol have them for a reason, to scare all the Districts into submission, and it’s worked for 61 years. What makes you think it’s going to change now?” Cas asked.
“I don’t know,” Dean answered honestly. “I just know that if I don’t try I’m going to have to mentor tribute after tribute after tribute until the day I die, and I don’t know how many of them are going to make it out of the arena alive. I just can’t do that Cas, I can’t watch children die in the Games. They need to be stopped, President Zachariah needs to be stopped.”
Cas nodded slowly. “Okay. I’ll help.”
“Thank you,” Dean replied.
Dean moved to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of beer before sitting down next to Cas in the living room. Dean turned his attention to the screen where the Games were still playing out.
Dagon was currently pinning a young boy, to the ground. “Don’t kill him,” Samael said.
“Why not?” Dagon asked.
“He could be useful,” Samael replied.
“How?” Kubrick asked. “He’s a child.”
“I don’t know yet, but I think he might come in handy.” Samael picked up a long knife from the ground and placed it into a sheath on his waistband. “We’ve been scavenging around here for days, I think this boy is the last of the tributes stupid enough to stay near the Cornucopia. It’s time we moved onto fresher hunting grounds.” Samael pointed at the boy, “tie him up and bring him back to the Cornucopia,” he ordered. “Let’s gather as many things as we can carry and then we’ll head towards the mountains,”
The careers gave a cheer and with their prisoner bound, they headed out.
“So, what’s your name, kid?” Eldon asked.
As the camera followed the careers, Dean felt a pit grow in his stomach. If the careers were heading towards the mountains, Sam was going to be in even greater danger.
“He’ll be okay,” Cas said softly.
“He better be,” Dean replied.
The next day, as promised, Cas and Dean split up to canvas District 12. Cas took the square and Dean took the outskirts, where he used to live. Dean’s first stop was the Hob, a place that Dean had been avoiding since he won the Games, because the owner of the Hob was none other than Ellen Harvelle, Jo’s mother. Cas had offered to take the Hob instead but Dean had waved him off, he’d have to face Ellen sooner or later and now was as good a time as any, she had connections around the District so she’d know who to trust and who not to.
When Dean walked into the small bar he got a couple of stares but most people went back to their drinks or their meals. It was just past noon but Dean spotted Rufus slumped over a table already drunk and passed out. Shaking his head, Dean made his way up to the bar area and sat down on one of the stools next to an older man.
The man looked at him for a moment before recognition dawned on him. “Dean Winchester?”
Dean forced himself to smile. “Uh, yeah, hi.” Dean offered his hand and the man took it.
“Donatello,” he said.
“Nice to meet you,” Dean replied.
“What’re you doing here? Would’a thought you’d still be in The Capitol.”
Dean shrugged. “I needed to come home for a few things.”
Donatello looked up at the screen, that was mounted over the bar, it was currently displaying Brady, digging for something in the sand with a stick. “Your brother has been going through a lot lately, hasn’t he?” Donatello said absentmindedly.
“Yeah, he has,” Dean replied curtly, trying to indicate that he didn’t want to talk about Sam.
Dean was saved from Donatello’s questions when Ellen slipped back behind the bar. Her eyes landed on Dean and for a second she stopped where she was, her mouth forming a thin line and her eyes narrowing.
“Hi,” Dean said awkwardly.
Ellen crossed her arms as she walked towards him. “Dean Winchester,” she said sharply. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
Dean felt like squirming in his seat under her hot gaze, but instead he stood up. “I’d like to talk to you,” he said. “Somewhere private.”
Ellen pursed her lips but then nodded. “Okay.”
Dean followed her behind the bar and into a small little backroom that held a couch, a small table, and lots of extra liquor. Ellen shut the door and then motioned for Dean to have a seat on the couch, Dean did so. Ellen didn’t say anything, she just waited for Dean to speak.
Dean cleared his throat and looked up at Ellen who, unlike Dean, had not sat down. “Well, first things first, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry.”
Ellen held up her hand. “Save it, Dean.”
“Dean, it’s the Games, there’s only one winner, I understand,” Ellen interrupted.
“Thank you,” Dean whispered.
Ellen sat down next to Dean and put a hand on his shoulder. “You know, I hated you for a while after the Games, because you got to come home and my baby girl didn’t. But the thing is Dean, I can’t blame you, you didn’t kill her, The Capitol did.”
“That’s, uh, that’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about,” Dean said. “I didn’t just come here to apologize for Jo, I came here to ask a favor.”
“What kind of favor?” Ellen asked.
“I’m trying to stop the Games, but I need a revolution to do it. I’ve got people in other Districts recruiting as many citizens as they can to fight for the end of the Games. You know a lot of people and I figured you’d know who to trust. I don’t want this plan out there for the Peacekeepers to hear, so I need to find a discreet place to hold a meeting where I can explain how this is going to go down, but first, I need to have recruits.”
“I’d love to stop the Games,” Ellen said, a smile forming on her lips. “I’ll see what I can do on the people front, but as for the venue for this meeting, why don’t you just hold it here? I can make sure no Peacekeepers get in.”
Dean didn’t have a better idea so he nodded. “Alright, the Hob it is.”
At around 8, Dean found himself back in the Hob with Cas by his side. Cas had managed to get a lot of their classmates to come to the meeting and Ellen had also scrounged up a good number of people as well. The Hob was packed with more people than Dean had seen there before.
“I think this is it,” Ellen said as she shut the doors to the Hob and turned to Dean. “Let’s hear this plan of yours.”
Dean stood on a chair at the front of the crowd and cleared his throat. “Thank you all for coming,” he began. “I know what I’m suggesting here seems impossible, but I assure you that it is possible, if we all work together. The Capitol can’t keep using fear as a tactic against us. The Games are cruel and inhumane and they need to be stopped. I’m not about to lie to you and tell you that this is going to be easy, that you’re all going to make it out with your lives, some of you probably won’t, but a lot of you will, they can’t fight all of us.” Dean paused and his eyes locked on Cas’, Cas nodded at him encouragingly. “Here’s how it’s going to go down. I’m going to be in the Capitol trying to subdue the President, while the Districts rise up and fight against the Peacekeepers.”
“By ‘subdue’ do you mean kill?” a boy asked from the middle of the mass of people.
Dean nodded. “The Games will never end if President Zachariah remains in charge, the only way to finish this is if he’s dead. The Games will live and die with him.”
“It could work,” a pretty brunette said from the side of the room where she was standing near Cas. Dean recognized her as Lisa Braeden, the girl Cas had tried to set him up with when he’d come home from the Games. “But it’s risky.”
“Nothing is entirely without risk,” Dean replied. “I know the plan has holes in it and those holes will be mended with time. I’m planning to strike this rebellion after these Games are over and a victor has been declared.” Dean paused to look at all the people who had gathered in the room. They all looked terrified, but defiant, ready to try and do anything to stop their names, or the names of their family members, from being in the reaping bowl. Dean raised his hand over his head. “Who’s with me?”
Cas’ hand was the first to shoot upwards. “I’m with you until the end, Dean.”
Lisa raised her hand as well. “I’m with you.”
Slowly, hands around the room rose into the air and shouts of ‘I’m with you’ chorused around him. As Dean looked at the citizens of District 12 that stood in front of him, he felt a spark of hope ignite in his chest.